Blurry vision...

We discovered opening night of the show that the batteries had worn out in the camera so all we had for documentation of the show was the Iphone. Looking back on the days or weeks working up to this point, having everything in a blur sort of sets the tone for my post today. I couldn't figure out weather to title it "Live and Learn" or "Blurry Vision". As you see I choose the later...

I guess this post is more about myself than the show. The show was good, sales where good, my cups display was a hit! All my mugs flew out the door, I didn't come back with any! My pillow mural brought in lots of customers and many compliments. I didn't sell it but that wasn't my intention so I did succeed with what I set out to do. (Once again, I am sorry I didn't get a photo of it...but I will at some point since its all packed up and here with me at home. )

So, I have this part of doing shows down. I have the work, I have the display, I know how to deal with customers its the taking care of myself during the preparations for this type of event or maybe just trying to do it is all is what I don't seem to have down yet. Once again I still think I'm in my 20's and don't need a whole lot of sleep. This year I could really see on my face that this is not the case...I need sleep!! I totally wore myself out leading up to this show and my family dealt with the repercussions. Also, looking around at the vendors for this show, which takes place Thanksgiving weekend, I came to the conclusion that most where either older folks with grown children or couples with no kids. Our children spent the vacation being shuffled around and I was not the most cheeriest Mommy to be around even though I did try to put on a good appearance.My extended family didn't enjoy being around me much either because I kept saying was the "I'm so tired!!" Well in the end I got sick and muddled through the show with a lowgrade temp and a horrible cough.

Below is a photo of me Friday night at the opening. This is when the fever started and Joey spent the entire night helping out and keeping me up beat. I have to admit we had some good private laughs when folks came into my booth and said "you must be such a happy person to make such happy pots"! Joey would just smile and nudge me and we'd have a good laugh when they went out of the booth happy with a pot and I would sink down in my chair just watching the minutes click even though I was pretty busy. We both made the point that I had been anything but happy over the last few weeks! Who wants to go through life or their career feeling like stressed out all the time? Not me!

Moral of my story is that I don't think I'm going to do anymore Holiday shows. Life is to short and my kids are growing up to quickly before my eyes to let it all slip by for a few shining moments as a crafts person. Time once again to reevaluate how I can be a potter and a Mom at the same time. Maybe I need to focus on more wholesale orders in the fall and less shows.The biggest thing I've learned this fall is that this spring I need a bit more down time for myself. Thank goodness I have some wise family members who have given me some great suggestions for simplifying my online courses ( these take up a lot of my time!) And now that I'm teaching two days a week, I'm trying to teach the kids to do more for themselves so we can have more fun time together. This takes time but its part of growing up and part of being a parent also. All good lessons.
So, with that and my blurry photo's, I'm sort of just going with the flow this week in getting ready for my home show. I'm really looking forward to next week and only have one very important task to take care of..me and my family.


cookingwithgas said...

Very well said Jen, very well said indeed!
I have walked this walk and made the decision to be there for my kids first.
They do grow up and they do move away.
The main reason for operating our pottery shop at home was for some basic family reasons.
We were home when the kids were home.
It did not always take all the stress out of the holidays, but it meant we were not off at shows.
You will never get those times with your kids back, the pottery will wait and you have people who will come to you.
Good luck with the balance.
It is a tricky walk.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Jen: Your booth looks beautiful, wish I could have come back over to see it, but Wes was pretty sick over the weekend, and as you know kids come first! I got a great shot of you and Joey setting up though, don't know if you saw it on my blog. You know, when Wesley was the age of your kids I had a great career, traveled
all the time, made lots of money. Also, stressed all the time, sick all the time, never saw my family, missed a lot of things. It was not worth it in the long run and I regret a lot that I did. I am no where near where you are with my pottery, but I fit it in when there is time and it works for me right now. I get impatient sometimes and wish I had more time to work, but that will come in one more year when Wes is gone to college. It is such a cliche, but they grow up and leave way too fast! Enjoy their childhood!! Once I stopped traveling, I worked as a volunteer in Wesley's school as much as possible and had so much more fun! We never have any money but we have a lot of laughs together and I know that I am a great mom. Much more important. Hang in there!!!!

Amy said...

that's just admirable, Jen.... family first. Our world needs more of that.

Anonymous said...

good ideas! spend time with the kids before they're not kids. at thanksgiving i realized all my brother's kids are grown... the empty nest for them, that'd be a good time to hit the studio. glad you sold out of your mugs... congrats

Jen Mecca said...

Hi all,
Sometimes I never know if I put to much about my thoughts on this blog but when I get good feedback, I really appreciate it and it makes it worth it.
Thanks for the support!

Tracey Broome said...

I know what you mean about thoughts on the blog. One of my students asked me yesterday if it ever bothered me to be so personal with my blog, and you know, it really doesn't when there are those like you out there doing the same thing. It helps a lot, sometimes to get the honest feedback and support from people you don't really know that well. I like that you do this!! Good luck with your next sales!

amy said...

Girl. Your booth and work look amazing. I'm so glad you had a great show, but sorry you were sick!

You are such a good example for me as a mom and potter- THANK YOU!!!! I know things are going to get more challenging for us with the second little one, and it's good to hear you share your thoughts about time spent working vs. time with family. Family is most important- seeking that balance is the challenge. You are a great mama!

Amanda said...

where did you find your cup display? did you have to build it? because I have looked EVERYWHERE for one like it! I love the way it looks!